For flights between the US and Europe, Austrian Airlines releases its economy class award seats to partners 298 days before the flight and its business class award seats to partners 88 days before the flight.

Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 11.55.31 PM
Austrian routes between the US and Europe have economy award space up to 298 days out

Austrian is a Star Alliance member that operates five routes to North America from its hub in Vienna:

Screen Shot 2014-02-13 at 12.49.53 AM

Austrian operates two cabin Boeing 777s and 767s with fully flat business class seats. I flew Austrian Business Class from Vienna to Chicago in October. My full trip report is here.

 

What predictable pattern of award space have I discovered on Austrian flights between the US and Europe? Which miles do you want to use to book flat beds to Europe this summer on Austrian?

On all five routes between North American and Europe, I found the exact same pattern, searching today February 13, 2014:

  • On all routes, business class award space was available on some flights between now and May 13, 2014. Business class space was not available May 14, 2014 or later on any routes.
  • Economy award space was available on some flights between now and November 8, 2014. Economy award space was not available November 9, 2014 or later.

For instance, here is Vienna to Toronto. As you can see, award space in business class is pretty good for the next three months but abruptly ends May 13, 2014.

Screen Shot 2014-02-13 at 12.46.57 AM

Economy award space is pretty good the next 10 months, but it abruptly ends November 8, 2014.

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The exact same pattern repeats on all five routes. I’ve put those screen shots at the end of the post, so you can check your favorite route.

Taking Advantage of Austrian Space

Which miles?

Booking Austrian award space is easy with United and US Airways miles.

United will charge you 30k miles each direction in economy and 70k in business between the US and Europe.

US Airways will charge 60k miles roundtrip in economy and 100k in business. If you want to book business class award space on Austrian, US Airways miles are ideal. The problem is that US Airways leaves the Star Alliance–and its miles lose the ability to book Austrian award space–on March 30, 2014.

On March 30, 2014, Austrian should have released business class award space on its routes through June 26, 2014–88 days after March 30, 2014.

Hopefully if you’re looking for an early summer getaway to Europe, award space opens on the routes you want.

Connections?

From Vienna, Austrian offers flights throughout Europe and beyond with excellent award availability.

From Chicago, Washington-Dulles, and Newark, United offers convenient connections throughout the US. From Toronto, Air Canada offers convenient connections.

Only JFK has very few connecting Star Alliance flights, so JFK to Vienna award space is primarily valuable to those who can fly out of JFK.

Screen Shots of All Five Routes in Both Directions

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